Did you start your business so you have flexibility to spend time with your family?
Do you struggle to maintain the work/life balance?
Is there a battle in your world between getting things right and getting things done at all?
Are you saying Yes to everything and everyone, but No to yourself?
Does it feel like other people “have it all together” but you’re still struggling to achieve the balance?
For so many of us, we start our businesses so that we can have flexibility and freedom. But in order to avoid working the 40 hour week, we end up working a 50, 60, or 70 hour week!
It’s not sustainable and it can be exhausting.
So, what’s the solution?
I’ve created a checklist of 5 things to do to reclaim that work-life balance:
Figure out what balance means to you. For me, I’m passionate about unscheduled time. So, work-life balance means working about 25-30 hours per week (of course, sometimes I work more and sometimes I work less), getting up at a “reasonable” hour (I’m not an early bird) seeing my family and spending plenty of time alone to recharge. For my husband, Matt, work-life balance means working full time (he often works more than 40 hours per week), cycling before work (he’s an early riser!), spending plenty of time outside on his days off and being super social. We’re total opposites! But being married to him, and seeing his values, I’ve begun to realise that we have very different definitions of what work-life balance means.
Understand that your definition of work-life balance needs to be set by you and not by anyone else. If you’re trying to align yourself with someone else’s values, you’ll exhaust yourself!
This step is crucial in achieving work-life balance. You MUST know what your version of work-life balance looks like. Otherwise, you won’t know it when you get there!
Once you know what work-life balance means to you, there’s a chance you will (or already do) feel guilty for either working too much or too little in the past. But you can’t change the past. So now is the time to forgive yourself for anything you’ve done in the past. Please release any guilt you have about the past as the guilt will not serve you in the future. Forgiving yourself for the past will make the future so much better for you!
Throw perfection in the bin! Perfection isn’t achievable, so please stop aiming for perfection in your work-life balance. Aim for good, or even great. But you won’t hit perfect, so please stop aiming for it. Being a perfectionist generally also makes you a control freak, and if you’re a control freak, you’ll never be able to let go of tasks and allow someone else to help you.
My motto this year (thanks to Dale Beaumont) is “Progress Before Perfection”.
Taking this motto means that sometimes I have mistakes on my website, email campaigns or social media (but we can fix those mistakes, it’s not the end of the world), but it also means that I’m able to trust my team to support me and help me grow my business.
Manage your energy, not your time. Time is set and it’s finite. Everyone gets the same out of time in a day, so you can’t get any more. However, you can manage and influence your energy, and it’s your energy that will impact how much you get out of your time each day. Recognise when you’re feeling high energy, and do your important stuff then. Notice when you’re lower energy and do less important, admin tasks then.
Focus on ways you can create additional energy. Things like meditation (HeadSpace is one of my favourite apps for this), exercise and great nutrition (eat more plants, drink more water!) can help you create more energy within your body.
Delegate, Outsource and Let It Go!
Understand that you can’t do everything yourself. I know that in the start up stages of business, you are the only person in your business, but you will eventually need help. So, as soon as you possibly can, start to delegate and outsource some tasks. Remember, you can outsource sooooo many things, including:
- House cleaning (you don’t always have to outsource business tasks, just because you’re in business, sometimes it’s more cost effective to hire a house cleaner, than to hire an assistant in your business, but both will help you with your work-life balance)
- Administrative tasks
- Trust Accounting
- Social Media
- Website Changes
- Calendar Management
- General Communications with clients
- Book Keeping
If you haven’t downloaded my guide about Outsourcing yet, please go and download my guide on the 5 Questions You MUST Ask Yourself Before Hiring Staff OR Outsourcing To A Virtual Assistant!
Remember that the journey to work-life balance is a journey. It’s not a destination. We’re always correcting ourselves, but if you use these five steps, you’ll find yourself living more purposefully and spending more time in balance than ever before.